Italian president pledges to do utmost in political 'fog'

Napolitano again rules out serving another term

Italian president pledges to do utmost in political 'fog'

(see related story on political situation) Rome, March 7 - Italian President Giorgio Napolitano on Thursday pledged to do his utmost until the end of his term in May to guide Italy through the political "fog". The Italian presidency is usually largely a figurehead role but it takes on major importance at the moment after the nation's inconclusive general election produced a hung parliament. It is up to Napolitano to decide which political leader to give the job of trying to form a new government and then how to proceed if this is not possible. He is expected to first turn to centre-left leader Pier Luigi Bersani, whose coalition came first but failed to win a working majority in the Senate. "I don't know if I'm a lighthouse (for Italy's political world) or an absolutely normal, human light," said Napolitano. "Sometimes it's difficult to shine light in the fog and I'm trying to do my best". The political deadlock may make it difficult for the parliament to elect a new head of state before May. But Napolitano, 87, on Thursday again ruled out the hypothesis that a solution could be for him to serve a second term. All previous Italian presidents have served only one seven-year term. "I will do what I have to do until the last day of my term," he said. "On the eve of the end of my term I want to stress that its conclusion fully corresponds to the conception of the founding fathers (who drew up Italy's Constitution)".

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